The Detox Healing Crisis
Many people tell me they get sicker a few days into the candida cleansing regimen. They get more acne, or experience more headaches.. and they immediately stop the regimen because of this. Don’t make this mistake. This feeling is just a normal healing crisis that everyone experiences before they get better. Shelley has this to say about the healing crisis:
The Healing Crisis, or Die-Off, occurs when the body is detoxifying ? releasing stored toxins - too rapidly for the paths of elimination to manage, and toxins are therefore floating around the bloodstream, poisoning you all over again.
For instance, auto-intoxication, or self-poisoning, occurs when the bowels are full of crud, because the body is designed to absorb water and minerals from the colon. Any bacteria, yeast or undigested foods will also get absorbed into the bloodstream to be filtered out all over again by the kidneys, lymph and liver or attacked by the immune system. Both the lymph and the liver rely on the bowels as a place to dump things, so the cycle continues until the bowels are cleansed with bowel management intervention such as colonics.
The process of cleansing and detoxing is a process of elimination, but the body can eliminate only so fast. Give it more than it can handle and you’ll feel poisoned ? because you are! Thus, intervention that supports the paths of elimination will lessen the effect of the healing crisis, remove toxins, and get you that much closer to vital health.
A healing crisis can also happen as the body replaces old, toxic tissues with new tissues. The old tissues are broken down and added to the bodys waste materials. A healing crisis can happen when you add probiotics, as the microbe colonies react to the newcomers which clean house. You can even experience a healing crisis by giving your body healthy juices that allow access to alkaloids that give passage to stored acids.
What this all adds up to is: headaches, sleepiness, extreme fatigue, constipation or diarrhea, cold and flu symptoms, ear infections, acne. As long as these symptoms are happening during a detox protocol, they are a natural part of the healing process and should be supported and even celebrated ? and yet mitigated so that you stay within your comfort zone.
If you take something such as an herbal tea or intestinal cleanser and experience no healing crisis, then the dose is too small or the product is bunk. Increase dosage until you feel the healing crisis coming on, that way you’ll know it’s effective. It’s pretty funny, but I’m all the time saying gGreath when people complain of a product giving them a headache. The headache is telling you it’s working, and that’s a good thing.
To minimize the Herxheimer Reaction:
- Drink lots of good water, the cleansing drink, fresh veggie juices, and keep up your essential minerals/salts with broth or EmergenC or the like. As soon as you feel a headache coming on, immediately reach for a glass of water. Make it a habit.
- Drink ginger tea with honey and lemon if mucous is being released.
- Keep the paths of elimination (bowels, lungs, skin, kidneys) clean as possible, as frequently as possible. Definitely consider a colonic or two.
- Take air/sun baths, preferably from 2:00 pm on if summer, or before 11:00 am. Avoid sunbathing during the hottest part of the day, especially if you’re Pitta.
- Reduce doses and slow down the detoxification process until you’re in your comfort zone ? feeling somewhat ill but functional.
- Take a detox bath
- Sweat by using exercise, saunas, baths, and herbs
- Keep to a very pure diet, consider fasting or eating a mono-diet of Kichadi
- Get minimal exercise daily to keep circulation going. Stretching helps a lot.
- Consider getting a massage, or perform self-massage with sesame oil scented with essential oils such as lavender; peppermint; or a blend of lemon, bergamot, basil, etc.
- A healing crisis means true healing because old injuries and stored toxins are being released. Once released, true repair and regeneration of healthy tissues can begin.
The healing crisis will usually bring about past conditions and personal issues so they can be dealt with and released for all time. Please be aware that the issues may be mental/emotional, not just physical. The healing crisis can include periods of anger, irritability, depression, and intense bouts of sobbing. You don’t have to know which trauma you are releasing to release it, so just go with the flow and let it out.
When you’re experiencing emotional release, the therapies that seem to help best are bodywork and energetic healing methods such as massage, chiropractic, Rolfing, flower essences, Reiki, acupuncture.